Optimism has started its revival, with about 30% of companies in Hong Kong looking to increase their headcounts and more than half maintaining status quo in 2021, said Michael Page recently.
This is compared with the 48% dip in hiring activities in 2020.
“We are already starting to see the early green shoots of a recovery. It’s widely anticipated that 2021 will be a better year than 2020, said Mark Tibbatts, Managing Director of Michael Page Hong Kong & Taiwan.
However, caution may prevail as the government withdraws some of its support for businesses but demand for talent is likely to increase through the year as the recovery gathers momentum, he added.
In view of the economic demands, the sectors earmarked for highest hiring activity are financial services, retail, professional services, technology & telecommunications as well as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), according to the report.
According to firm’s Talent Trends 2021 Report, digital transformation continues to have major implications in the Hong Kong market.
In addition to recruitment insights and industry analysis on the Hong Kong job market, the report also shares new insights across the Asia Pacific market on related topics such as digital readiness, organisational structure, flexible working, leadership, performance management, and diversity and inclusion.
Asia Pacific trends
Across the Asia Pacific region, job vacancies dropped by 8% to 35% depending on the location, said Michael Page.
Several businesses reported a conservative approach to their hiring strategies, choosing instead to freeze or even reduce their headcount in order to reduce costs, the firm pointed out.
However the reduced rate of hiring was not an indication that businesses shut out all qualified talent altogether, the firm added.
Michael Page said it saw very positive trends upward from Q2 to Q3, and Q4 versus Q3 2020 while optimism exists in 2021 as 42% of businesses in Asia Pacific indicated that they are already looking to increase headcount in the year.
While the boundaries of work-life balance were debated in 2020, four out of five employees were found to feel equally or more productive working from home, only 5% of them prefer to work completely remotely, according to the report.
This indicates a need for frequent social interaction with co-workers, the recruitment firm noted.
With this, 51% of organisations evolved their performance evaluations, according to the report.
To reflect the times of crisis, management teams started reassessing individuals with greater importance placed on positive behaviours while 64% of companies rated team collaboration as the most valued employees attribute during times of crisis, said Michael Page.